Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

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Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby badmojo » 2012-6-04 @ 23:35

I've been playing around with different PCI VGA cards in my Socket 7, 166MMX machine to determine which (out of my collection) scores the highest in 3dbench2, and which produces the best image. "Best image" is subjective of course, but basically I want strong colours, and black blacks.

Out of some stiff competition this humble little Ark Logic card (ark2000mt chipset, 2mb RAM) was the winner, and I was just wondering if anyone else here has one of these, or knows anything about them? It has "Made in Australia" stamped on the back - very curious! There is a German wiki page, but it doesn't tell me much.

Image


And here's the competition:


Tseng ET6100. Same 3dbench score as the Ark Logic (150.2), but not quite as bright and caused some issues in Dune2
Image


Diamond Stealth 64. Not as fast as the Ark Logic.
Image


#9 GXE64. Not as fast as the Ark Logic, a little dull.
Image


Matrox Mystique G220. Beautiful image quality but not as fast as the Ark Logic and Keen doesn't like it.
Image
Last edited by badmojo on 2012-6-05 @ 00:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, and interesting VGA card.

Postby keropi » 2012-6-04 @ 23:43

150.2 ... that's a nice score indeed... I only know of slow ISA 256kb vgas with an ARK chipset , never knew they made a pci one
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, and interesting VGA card.

Postby luckybob » 2012-6-05 @ 00:05

I actually have that EXACT pci card as well. I got it from ebay in one of those "big lots of crap" auctions. Never looked twice at it until now. I suppose I should test it out now, eh?
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, and interesting VGA card.

Postby nforce4max » 2012-6-05 @ 00:08

Good luck getting any more information, chances are that there were very few made given that this is the first time that I have seen one.
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, and interesting VGA card.

Postby leileilol » 2012-6-05 @ 00:24

How's the VESA and the Keen on that thing?
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, and interesting VGA card.

Postby badmojo » 2012-6-05 @ 00:42

luckybob wrote:I actually have that EXACT pci card as well. I got it from ebay in one of those "big lots of crap" auctions. Never looked twice at it until now. I suppose I should test it out now, eh?


Please do, I'd be interested to hear what you think!


leileilol wrote:How's the VESA and the Keen on that thing?


What's a good test for VESA? It seems good; UniVbe detected it and upped it to 3.0. Duke 3d looks good and performs well in SVGA mode.

And actually I didn't try Keen which is a little unfair on the Matrox, but it was getting late. Will try it tonight.
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby dirkmirk » 2012-6-12 @ 10:01

Image

I was given this card a few weeks ago although the chipset is different, Im going to use this is in my cyrix 5x86-120 system, well depending on how it benchmarks/looks vs an S3 Virge DX.
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby badmojo » 2012-6-12 @ 22:28

Cool let us know how it goes. I predict it'll kick the S3's arse!
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby SquallStrife » 2012-6-12 @ 22:51

My dad's first Pentium system had the previous model of that ARK card, a "Legend 32" branded ARK1000PV based card with 2MB. I remember he chose that card for its excellent VESA support, to accelerate AutoCAD and MicroStation (back before they both became Windows based products, obviously). I didn't like it though, because the Windows drivers were pretty mediocre, and that's what I was in to at the time.

The card got binned, because one day the card just smoked up out-of-the-blue. It got replaced by a dual-head Matrox card. Not so good for games, but perfect for what he needed.

I'm using the Diamond Stealth64 in my 486. It has superb colour, it rivals even the ET4000AX VLB in that department. But you're right, it's not exactly the fastest PCI card out there (hence finding itself in a 486! :)).
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby Stojke » 2012-6-13 @ 07:29

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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby NJRoadfan » 2012-6-13 @ 22:07

I had an ARK2000PV based card in my old PC Chips M919 rig. I bought it at the long defunct Computer City chain for like $20 back in 1997. It was sold under their "Precision Components" house brand. I really didn't use it in DOS/Windows all that much as the machine was mostly a firewall/router box. Getting it to work under XFree86 certainly was interesting though.
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby sliderider » 2012-6-14 @ 15:24



The 8600GT PCI was Asia only, from what I have been able to find out about it. The Sparkle or Jaton 9500GT 1gb were probably the fastest PCI cards sold in N. America if you have a system that only supports PCI slots for video upgrades and on paper edges the 8600GT by a hairs breadth. There are HD5350 and GT520 cards being sold in PCI with newer features, but neither of them is anywhere near as fast as a 9500GT, though the GT520 is the faster of the two. It will probably be a while before anyone releases another PCI video card faster than 9500GT.
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby dirkmirk » 2012-6-17 @ 13:53

Ive tested the 2 cards, here are the results in dos

System specs

Cyrix 5x86-120
UMC based pci motherboard
32meg ram, 60ns

3dbench - 71.4
Quake - 14.7ish
Doom 2 - 32.6

Those scores are the same except for pcpbench

For some reason the ARK2000 gives 10.1fps, The S3 virge only gives 7.2, I tried fastvid, univbe & s3vbe but the score would'nt budge. Using unvibe causes the screen to go out of range with no picture on the ARK2000 chipset.

My card only has 1meg of memory,and would be upgradable to 2meg, windows 98 installation does not include drivers for this card and I imagine it could be quite difficult tracking the drivers down, commander keen ran fine.

I might test the card in my pentium pro system if I get time, This could be a very great dos card for svga although their was no difference between the 2 cards running quake at 640x480 (4.3fps),
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby badmojo » 2012-6-28 @ 23:22

I noticed this ad for your card in a local PC mag (circa 1995) dirkmirk:

Image

Tried Shadow Warrior last night on my Ark logic and was again impressed with it's speed, VESA modes on a P166MMX are fantastic.

Also say this ad in the same mag, haven't seen one of these before:

Image
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby swaaye » 2012-6-29 @ 00:09

The ARK2000PV was liked by Computer Gaming World too, for DOS gaming. One of the fastest scores apparently.

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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby luckybob » 2012-6-29 @ 06:36

While not 100% conclusive tests, I had a little fun with my mt2000 and some other cards. the testbed was:

Tyan S1568 430HX /w 512kb L2 cache
2x 200mhz pentium
dos 6.22 with only himem loaded and dos high.
256mb 70ns edo ram

all cards were pci and I ran 3dbench2 and speedsys for each card. I tried fastvid for each card but the modifications werent supported by my platform. keep in mind, I used this board mostly because I havent fired it up in a while, and these were the video cards I grabbed out of my box-o-video-cards. There was no rhyme or reason, however both my matrox cards (millennium and mystic) would not post, something I'm looking into. The results were:

NAME - 3dbench2 - speedsys memory speed
Rage 128AIW - 149.3 - 54802
ATI 9250 - 149.6 - 73765
ARK2000(2MB) - 158.2 - 22236
VOODOO BANSHEE - 158.5 - 73213
3D PROF. 4000XT - 117.3 - 18441
ATI RAGE XL - 147.5 - 73213
PERMIDIA 2 - 149.7 - 73738
S3 VIRGE(2MB) - 149.2 - 19197
TRIDENT 9680 (1MB) - 112.3 - 10781
TRIDENT 9680 (2MB) - 112.3 - 17297

Score one for the Voodoo Banshee, with the ark2000 so close on its heels. It must be noted that the rage xl is a onboard server chip are cheap as dirt and easy to find.

I'm going to re-run the scores on a pentium 2 system. I actually might use my p-pro overdrives...
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby luckybob » 2012-6-29 @ 09:33

I fired up my asus board, got some more results

testbed:

Asus p65up5 & c-p6nd 440FX
2x 333mhz p-pro overdrives
512mb 60ns ram

I found a few more cards as well!

CARD - 3dbench - speedsys - doom fps
MATROX G200 - 373.5 - 61813 - 79.91
VOODOO BANSHEE - 373.8 - 74157 - 89.63
ATI RAGE 128 - 373.8 - 53867 - 80.76
ATI 9250 - 374.7 - 70803 - 71.42
ARK2000 - 325.4 - 21961 - 87.91
3D PROF. 4000XT - 224 - 16726 - 77.21
S3 TRIO64V+ - 322.1 - 18327 - 77.74
ATI RAGE XL - 260 - 70650 - 80.48
PERMIDIA 2 - 373.8 - 70701 - 77.21
TRIDENT 9680 - 171.6 - 16471 - 69.68
SIS 6205 - 185.2 - 18976 - 69.68
S3 VIRGE - 328.5 - 19490 - 78.27

Unlike in the first round, fastvid was able to work this time, and the extra cpu power is noticeable. This time ALL cards had their max memory installed. I found it very interesting just how well the ark2000 kept up. I think its at its peak in this setup. I think the fact that 5 cards were still throttled by the cpu ( at least in 3dbench) was interesting. I think the most interesting scores were in doom. For all intents and purposes, they left all the other cards in the dust! And the ark is 2 YEARS older than the Banshee!

I might take the top 5 here and put them up against some agp cards in a P3 tomorrow night. If anyone cares. :P I think the moral of the story here is, as long as you arent buying cheap video cards (trident,sis) then there really isnt much difference.
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby NJRoadfan » 2012-6-29 @ 13:57

Never knew Diamond made a card with this chip. By the time I got a card with it, I thought it was some obscure off brand chip nobody used with horrible driver support. XFree86 support seemed half hearted. I remember having to specify the RAMDAC on the card, plus do some crazy mode lines settings in xf86config to get the card to display anything higher then 16 colors!
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby Pippy P. Poopypants » 2012-8-05 @ 09:33

This card looks like it's just best suited for the DOS gaming realm as an alternative to S3 cards, mainly for its compatibility. Pair it up with a Voodoo1 card though and you got one nice DOS gaming rig.
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Re: Ark Logic PCI, an interesting VGA card.

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2012-8-12 @ 11:30

I'm surprised this is news. I've been talking about the ARK chipset for quite a while. I have three VLB ark cards based on the 1000VL/PV chipsets. According to information I have seen in the past, the performance of the VGA core in both the 1000PV (32-bit) and 2000PV (64-bit) is supposed to be identical. I think I read that the VGA core on the 2000 is only 32-bit. Upgrading the 1000PV to 2MB gives no speed advantage over 1MB as it does not use 32-bit memory interleaving, but 2MB does provide extra resolutions in Windows. On the 2000, upgrading to 2MB should also give a speed boost to accelerated graphics (windows). Somebody should really compare benchmark results of 1000PV and 2000PV to see if they are indeed the same in DOS.

Supposedly the ARK1000PV just slightly beats out the ET4000W32P at 320x200x256, but is quite a bit slower at 640x480x256 in DOS. I believe I have always maintained that the ARK1000 and ET4000W32 performance was quite similar. Though I have to agree that the ARK1000 software is complete shit in windows. I suspect ARK2000 software must have been better.
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